In October, Craig Warrington and fiancee Jennifer Dill participated in the OC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in Ocean City, MD. A fundraising event that collects funds for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is a tribute to the 343 firefighters that lost their lives during the tragic events on September 11, 2001. Held for the first time in Ocean City this year, the event includes participants from civilians, EMS, firemen, law enforcement and the military.
During the event, participants honor fallen firefighters by climbing the equivalent of the same number of stories of the World Trade Towers, 110 stories, as well as having each individual fallen Firefighter honored by a climber in the event. Each climber wore badges as as they ascended the 20-story building in honor of fallen service men and women and also represented local fire companies across the Delmarva Peninsula. Warrington and Dill represented the Carlisle Fire Company in Milford and were honored to be a part of the event.
“You could feel the emotion as soon as you got to the event,” said Warrington. “It immediately took us back to the events of September 11 and the emotion that we felt that day, it was a day filled with chaos”
At the age of 50, Warrington was committed to getting in shape and making healthy life decisions. He originally lost 75 lbs. over the course of several months and has continued his goal to helping others realize their ability to make the initial steps in creating a healthy life at any age. Since their transformation, Warrington and Dill have competed and won medals at the Delaware Senior Olympics Games and other local events. Wanting to share their love of fitness while giving back to the community, the couple decided to participate in the OC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb as a way to remember that specific day in history and raise money for a great cause.
Climbing alongside Warrington and Dill were firefighters from across the East Coast who climbed the 110 stories in full gear. “We enjoyed the event but realized that what we did was minor as we began to see the firemen in full gear climb the 110 stories,” said Warrington. “They showed us that it is important to stay positive and count your blessings.”
Held at the Pyramid Hotel, the climb is not intended to be a race but to raise money and support for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Warrington and Dill look forward to doing the event next year and intend to bring their entire fitness group. Warrington stated that the day helped them remember the months following September 11, 2001 and what was important at the time.
“When you look back, after the attacks it was all about being with your family and enjoying your loved ones,” said Warrington. “The sad thing is how fast we forget and begin to focus too much on work and other things in life. It is still about being with your loved ones and this day helped us remember that.”